Posts Tagged: Cable

19
Aug

2022

Weekly Roundup: More people beginning to understand the benefit of cable cars as public transportation

London’s public transit cable cars operated by Transport for London, Photo on Wikimedia by James Petts, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • The Prairie Sky Gondola project in Edmonton has been cancelled. City council voted 12 to one to terminate the city’s agreement with Prairie Sky Gondola due to several reasons, including the financial risk to the city and the idea of building on the Rossdale Burial Site. The opposition believes the project can still advance if revised to avoid the Indigenous burial site and if more Indigenous consultation is conducted. See a related Weekly Roundup hereSCJ Alliance, the parent company of the Gondola Project, had been retained to provide gondola expertise for this project.
  • As more urban cities integrate cable cars as public transit, more people are understanding the benefits. Since 2008 the idea of building a cable car, Câble 1, in Paris has been around. The 4.5-km system is estimated to move 10,000 people per day between the southeast suburbs to a Metro Line station. The journey will take 17 minutes. Cable cars are a method that cities can use to manage traffic congestion in a more economical and eco-friendly way. See a related Weekly Roundup here.
  • Big Mountain Ski Resorts advances the installation of its new high-speed six-passenger chairlift. Foundations were poured using a helicopter in select areas where access was challenging and dangerous by truck. Leitner-Poma is working on building, galvanizing, and inspecting the chairlift equipment. Once all parts are delivered the installation will also be done with a helicopter. The chairlift is faster and larger, giving guests a ride that takes less than 5 minutes and moves 3,000 guests per hour.


Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

05
Aug

2022

Weekly Roundup: System failure at the Singapore cable car leaves 18 people stranded for 1.5 hours

Cable Car between Sentosa Island and Mount Faber in Singapore
Cable Car between Sentosa Island and Mount Faber in Singapore, Photo by Uwe Schwarzbach on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

12
Jul

2016

WORLD MAP UPDATE: Proposals and Ropeways Added

Given the recent flurry of activity within the urban cable car sector, we took time to update the world map. For a larger version of map, click on the upper right hand corner of the map below or click here.



PROPOSALS ADDED

  • Albany, New York (July 2016)
  • Busan, South Korea (May 2016)
  • Chicago Skyline, Illinois (May 2016)
  • Don Valley Cable Car, Toronto, Ontario (March 2016)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (April 2016)
  • Kathmandu, Nepal (June 2016)
  • Konstantz, Germany (June 2016)
  • Linea Plateada (Silver Line) – Mi Teleférico (February 2016)
  • Seoul Sports Complex – Ttukseom Hangang Park (June 2016)
  • SFU Gondola, Burnaby, British Columbia (re-added due to news from June 2016)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (March 2016)


SYSTEMS ADDED

Our Facebook and Twitter page has up-to-the-minute updates, so be sure to check it out. If you have any ideas on how to make the map better, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

14
Jan

2016

Hamilton Gondola — We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

NOTE: An earlier version of this post originally appeared on December 4th, 2009 (yup, that’s over 7 years ago, kids). At that time, the report “City of Hamilton Higher Order Transit Network Strategy” was available online. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. 

Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s really nobody’s fault.

For example:

In the spring of 2007 a working paper by IBI Group called City of Hamilton Higher Order Transit Network Strategy came out. For those who don’t know, Hamilton is a city in southern Ontario that is cut in half by a 700 kilometer long limestone cliff that ends at Niagara Falls. It’s called the Niagara Escarpment and has made higher-order transit connections between the Upper and Lower cities difficult.

You See The Difficulty

You See The Difficulty

In the IBI paper the writers conclude that a connection between the Upper and Lower cities is “physically impossible” and that the Niagara Escarpment Commission might “strongly resist” any new crossings of the escarpment. As such, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) became the focus and preferred technology of the report. That’s because streetcars and Light Rail can’t handle inclines of more than about 10 degrees. The only way for a rail based technology to work, IBI concluded, was if a tunnel or viaduct was built.

No where in the report, however, was Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) even mentioned, despite cable’s ability to resolve most if not all of the issues IBI highlighted.

It’s no real surprise. Back in 2007 there was virtually no publicly accessible research available on cable. Believe me, I know; I had just started my research in 2007 and it was incredibly difficult to find anything.

Should IBI have considered cable? Should they have known about cable? I don’t know . . . and furthermore, I don’t think it’s relevant to this discussion. What you don’t know, you don’t know and that’s all there is to it.

What is, however, relevant to our discussion is this:

Hamilton Gondola

Photoshop of a gondola traversing the Hamilton Escarpment. Image via Hamilton Spectator.

The City of Hamilton is now updating their Transportation Master Plan and they’re surveying the public on their opinions. And the survey includes a question on gondolas. Last summer, meanwhile, around half of the people that responded at Hamilton’s Transportation Master Plan public meetings said they liked the gondola concept.

So why does that matter?

Because in less than 7 years’ time, a large North American city made a complete about-face on this matter. They went from a place where they thought (incorrectly) that a specific transit problem could not be solved with a fixed link solution due to their topography; to a place where they are actively soliciting the public’s opinion on using a gondola to solve the very problem they previously thought couldn’t be solved.

I know people in the cable car industry think seven years is a lifetime. And it is. But not to a large municipal bureaucracy. To a city, seven years is a heartbeat. In a heartbeat, Hamilton went from basically not even knowing cable cars exist to considering it as a part of their overall Transportation Master Plan.

That’s progress no matter how you look at it.

Creative Commons image by John Vetterli


Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

21
Dec

2015

The Grandmother Test

I recently met someone who disapproves of this whole Urban Gondola concept – which is fine, you’re entitled to your own opinion. He said it’s hard enough to get his grandmother to ride the subway (because she finds it terrifying), let alone a gondola.

According to The Grandmother Test (yeah, it should be called that) we should therefore stop everyone from building subways entirely. Probably not going to happen.

Yet when I pointed out the logical problem of The Grandmother Test, he basically just said urban gondolas are stupid. He wasn’t a skeptic; he was a cynic.

Whether it’s urban gondolas or any other great idea, if you spot someone who fails (passes?) The Grandmother Test, just walk away and don’t waste your time. There’s nothing you can do there.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

08
Dec

2015

How to Price Your Urban Cable Car

It’s hard to blame officials in some cities for treating the fare structure of new public transport line as an afterthought. It’s not sexy stuff. However, for urban cable cars, the failure to put the time and energy to develop a proper fare model may ultimately hinder the project’s success.

Generally speaking, the price elasticity for a transit bus is fairly limited. Image by Oran Viriyincy.

Whether your envisioned CPT line is built for transit, recreation or some combination of the two, the fare must reflect your overall goals. Take the Maokong Gondola, which recently announced its intention to raise fares. Owned by the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC), this recreational gondola transports an incredible 2-3 million riders a year (5 million in its first)!

It’s hard to blame people for thinking these are really great numbers!!

Maokong Gondola. Image by Connie Ma.

And, yes, they are — but the system charges an average roundtrip fare of just US$3.00, among some of the least expensive urban cable cars in the world. Sightseeing cable cars in nearby Hong Kong (Ngong Ping 360) and Korea (Yeosu Cable Car) charge anywhere from US$10-35.

No wonder detractors have lambasted the system for being a perpetual money loser. It bleeds some US$3 million annually. Since fares were scheduled to increase, there were immediate fears that this would cause decreased visitorship and therefore, increase loses. Luckily though, correlation does not mean causation. Let me explain.

During a site visit to the Singapore Cable Car, I learned that they once struggled with a similar situation when management wanted to reorganize priorities. System managers did the math and essentially what happened was this: fares more than doubled in the early 2000s from ~SGD$10 to ~SGD$29 today.

The results were astonishing: ridership decreased considerably — but system profitability actually increased! Why? Simply put, it costs far more to manage millions of low-fare riders than fewer high-fare ones.

They realized their visitors were willing to pay a premium to experience the cable car. Could the same be said of the Maokong Gondola? It’s hard to know without some study but seems to me that a 20-40 minute, 4km US$9.00 cable car ride is still a real bargain. Of course, there will always be that initial challenge to convince the public to pay more for essentially the same service.

Perhaps they should’ve announced the fare raise with a promotion like the Hello Kitty cabins last year, to better justify this cost. Image by travel blogger Jamie (ink+adventure). Click for more photos and original post. 

Moreover, this will likely raise issues of social equity as the Maokong Gondola is owned by TRTC. If your city is considering an urban gondola, this is a story you’d likely want to follow. It may well make you think twice about your fare structure.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.